How to Apply for Canada Immigration from Afghanistan

In light of the recent unrest in Afghanistan, Canada has recently launched an immigration program to help as many as 20,000 Afghan nationals relocate to Canada!

There are two main programs that have been created to help Afghan nationals, and their family members, start a new life in Canada.

The first program is aimed at helping Afghan nationals and their families, who have helped the Canadian government, move to Canada.

The second program is a humanitarian program, designed to help Afghan nationals who are not in Afghanistan, without any other viable options in a third country to settle in Canada. This includes people like:

  • women leaders
  • human rights advocates
  • LGBTI individuals
  • journalists and people who assisted Canadian journalists
  • immediate family members of one of the above
  • extended family members of previously resettled interpreters who assisted the Government of Canada

For more information on these programs and the Government of Canada can assist you to take refuge, you can either visit the Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website here or keep reading to find out how to apply for Canada immigration from Afghanistan as well as what your top five options are to get a Canada visa for Afghanistan.

Canadian Immigration for Afghan Nationals

Canadian and Afghanistan flags blowing in wind | How to apply for Canada immigration from Afghanistan

1. Immigration program for Afghans who have helped the Government of Canada

Who can apply

  • you’re an Afghan national and your employment involved a significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada, which could be, but is not limited to
    • interpreters who worked with the Canadian Armed Forces
    • local staff who currently or used to work at the Embassy of Canada in Afghanistan
  • you or your family members were in Afghanistan on or after July 22, 2021 (the date this special program started)
  • you’re not admissible to Canada.

Family members who can apply

  • a spouse or common-law partner
  • a dependent child who is
    • under 22 years of age and
    • not married or in a common-law relationship
  • a dependent child of a dependent child (a grandchild) who is
    • under 22 years of age and
    • not married or in a common-law relationship
  • De facto dependants such as
    • Someone who depends on a specific family for emotional or financial reasons (or both)
    • may live with the family as a member of their household

How to apply

You can apply through this program in two steps:

Step 1: Write an email outlining your:

  • your full name (include any nicknames you may have had)
  • your date of birth
  • your email address
  • your phone number
  • a description of your work with the Government of Canada or the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan, including:
  • your job title or position
  • your identification number, if you had one
  • the name(s) of your Canadian point(s) of contact (if possible)
  • a copy of your passport and the passport for each eligible family member traveling with you (if possible)
  • Step 2: Send your email to Canada-Afghanistan@international.gc.ca.

    2. Humanitarian program for Afghans in need of resettlement

    There are two groups under the humanitarian program:

    Group 1

    This group is for Afghan nationals who are extended family members of someone who helped the Government of Canada and has already been resettled to Canada. This includes family members who are still in Afghanistan.

    This includes people like:

    • woman leaders
    • human rights advocates
    • journalists and people who assisted Canadian journalists
    • persecuted religious minorities
    • LGBTI individuals
    • immediate family members of one of the above

    Group 2

    This group is for Afghan nationals who are outside of Afghanistan and don’t have a durable solution in a third country.

    How to apply

    You can apply for Canada immigration for Afghan refugees through this program in one of two ways:

    1. Government-assisted refugee - you must be referred to Canada for resettlement by:

    • the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
    • another designated referral organization

    2. Privately sponsored refugee - if you are sponsored by an eligible group, you may qualify to apply for a Canada visa for Afghanistan under this group. Your sponsor group will have to support you for a specified period of time (usually up to one year), which usually includes start-up costs, ongoing monthly costs for necessities as well as social and emotional support.

    3. Express Entry

    The Express Entry system is one of Canada’s most popular and fastest visa processing systems. It boasts visa processing times of as little as six weeks and manages three programs:

    • The Federal Skilled Worker Program - highly-skilled professionals
    • The Federal Skilled Trades Program - skilled trade workers
    • The Canada Experience Class - highly-skilled workers with at least 1 year of Canadian work experience

    How to apply

    To apply through one of the Express Entry programs you will need to:

    • ensure that you meet all the program's requirements
    • are admissible to Canada
    • have a valid travel document
    • have sufficient settlement funds

    Once you are sure that you qualify you will then need to create your Express Entry profile.

    Your profile will then be ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and you will then be given a score out of 1,200 based on factors like your age, education, work experience, among others. Your profile will then be entered into a draw pool with other applicants. If you score among the highest-scoring applicants you could receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada.

    4. Provincial Nominee Program

    Canada has 11 Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Each PNP has various categories to choose from. Whether you want to start a business, graduate from a provincial institution, are looking for work in the province, or simply want to apply for Canada immigration from Afghanistan to live and work in the province, you should find a program or category that fits your specific needs.

    The key to being successful when applying through a PNP is to try to get a job offer in the province you are applying to or at least apply to a province where your occupation is in demand. This will increase your chances of getting a Provincial Nomination (PN), which is worth 600 points!

    How to apply

    There are two ways that you can apply through a PNP:

    1. Express Entry-linked Program

    You can express interest in a specific province when creating your Express Entry profile. This will let the province know that you intend to live and work in the province and if you have the skills and experience needed, your profile will be selected by the provincial government and you will receive a PN.

    2. Apply directly to the province

    You can also apply for a Canada visa for Afghanistan by submitting your application directly to the province of your choice. Most provinces have online application portals, which reduces the application time drastically and can take anywhere from two to six months to process. Paper applications can take as long as 18 months depending on your case.

    5. Work in Canada

    If you don’t qualify for immediate Canadian immigration from Afghanistan, you can apply for a Canada work permit. There are two main work permit options:

    • Open work permit - allows you to work for any employer anywhere in Canada; or
    • Employer-specific work permit - allows you to work for a specific employer in a specific location in Canada.

    Once you have enough work experience you can either apply for permanent residency through a PNP or through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program under the Express Entry system, depending on your occupation.

    What’s the Next Step

    There are over 100 Canada immigration options to choose from when applying from Afghanistan. The first step to take is to find out which of these visas or programs you qualify for so that you can give yourself and your family the best chance at starting a new life in Canada.

    Need help determining how to apply for Canada immigration from Afghanistan?

    Look no further. Our team of professionals works closely with Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are both experienced and highly qualified. To get the help and guidance you need to apply for a Canada visa from Afghanistan, simply chat to one of our visa professionals today to see which immigration pathways could set you on your way to living your Canadian dream.